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2018 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

2018 Beaulieu Vineyard Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon

Tasting Notes

Tasting Note

This inaugural 2018 Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon is the epitome of the finest expression of our western Rutherford bench-land terroir, exhibiting an intense saturation of color, aromas and flavors. The expressive perfumed bouquet leaps from the glass with exuberant dark berry fruits. Notes of blackberry, black currant, black forest cake and Crème de cassis sit alongside floral violet, rose petal, rosemary and bay laurel, while lifted baking spice notes from the well-integrated oak barrel character, shows nuances of cedar, cinnamon, clove and caramel. On the palate, there is juicy, saturated black cherry, macerated red raspberry, supported by darker hints of espresso, mocha and bittersweet chocolate. The structured “Rutherford dust” tannins are full of grip and plushness, showcasing the signature cocoa powder texture and expansive mouthfeel. Rich, with depth and balance, leading to a generous velvety-smooth textured persistent finish, showing concentration and refinement. A classic example of the very best from the Rutherford appellation.

Technical Information

Varietal Cabernet Sauvignon
Vintage 2018
Blend 90% Cabernet Sauvignon, 6% Malbec and 4% Petit Verdot
Oak Treatment 21 months in 100% French oak (80% new barrels)
Alcohol % 14.7%
Enclosure Type Cork
pH 3.74

Scores & Accolades

  • 96

    “This is so aromatic with redcurrants, flowers and crushed stones. Some bark and rose stem, too. Full-bodied, yet so refined and textured with a lovely finish of fruit and hints of berry and light chocolate. So delicious now, but will develop nicely in the bottle. Drink or hold.” - James Suckling, June 2021

  • 94


    “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Reserve is compelling. Dark cherry, plum, chocolate, licorice and spice are some of the many aromas and flavors that open in the glass. Rich and sumptuous to the core, the 2018 hits all the right notes. The Rutherford Reserve is sourced mostly from BV #1 and BV #2. Bright acids perk up the finish. Think of the Rutherford Reserve as a baby Georges de Latour that can be enjoyed pretty much on release.” - Antonio Galloni, March 2021

  • 94

    “The 2018 Cabernet Sauvignon Rutherford Reserve is a deeper, richer wine with impressive chocolatey blackcurrant fruits as well as lots of tobacco, damp earth, camphor, and new leather-like aromas and flavors. It’s beautifully textured and medium to full-bodied, with ripe tannins and a great finish. I’d be thrilled to drink bottles any time over the coming 10-15 years or more.” - Jeb Dunnuck, January 28, 2021



Upon receiving the hand-picked, smaller yielding selection of the best Cabernet Sauvignon fruit from our historic vineyard blocks on the western Rutherford bench, the grapes were destemmed and cold soaked for seven days to release gentle flavor extraction. This allowed us to develop the elegant, layered fruit expression that is inherent in Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon while also delicately releasing the natural ‘cocoa-powder tannin’ terroir expression known as Rutherford Dust. During the eight- to twelve-day fermentation, we pumped over the cap to incorporate the flavor-rich skins into the juice. To balance the bold fruit expression with toasty oak character, we chose more than 80% new French oak for barrel aging and added a splash of Malbec and Petit Verdot to enhance the complex flavor profile.

Trevor Durling - Winemaker

Beaulieu Vineyard Winemaker Trevor Durling, presides as only the fifth winemaker in the winery’s 119-year history. A native Californian, Trevor was raised in Sonoma County, the heart of Northern California’s wine country. With a love of agriculture, science and cuisine, Trevor pursued his studies at the University of California Davis in the Viticulture and Enology program. As winemaker at Beaulieu Vineyard, Trevor incorporates his passion for creating fine wines, while preserving the heritage and legacy of Beaulieu Vineyard.



The Napa Valley region enjoyed a stunning, near picture-perfect 2018 growing season including good winter rains, mild spring weather and steady temperatures throughout that allowed for even flowering and bud break. These ideal growing conditions were followed by a cool, even and slow-paced harvest which allowed the winery to vinify wines at a gentle pace. The resulting 2018 Cabernets are of very high quality with plenty of concentrated flavors, color and excellent acidity.


Rutherford AVA



The 2018 vintage selection was a key element in choosing to launch this inaugural Rutherford Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon. One of the premier vintages of the past decade, we hand selected preeminent parcels of Cabernet Sauvignon from our historic vineyard blocks in the heart of Rutherford, from BV Ranches No. 1, No. 2 and No.10. A truly elevated representation of Rutherford, these select vineyard blocks provided saturated dark-berry fruit characteristics and firm, concentrated structure that exemplifies the Rutherford terroir. Located on the western Rutherford Bench, where alluvial fan soils from the Mayacamas Mountains—composed of a diversity of soil types, including; gravel, sand and loam—allowed the vines to root deeply, developing complexity, minerality and layered notes, providing a signature Rutherford character in the expression of the grapes and the resulting wine.

Winemaker Trevor Durling

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